Massive star formation requires extreme temperatures, densities, shocks, and turbulent conditions. Such conditions are often found in super star clusters which are defined by their high luminosities over 2000000 Lsun, compact sizes of a few parsecs, young ages of 100000 yrs, and contain hundreds of very massive stars greater than 8 Msun. I am interested in using archival observations as well as proposing for my own observations on ground-based (ALMA, Magellan, Gemini South) and space-based (Herschel, Spitzer, Hubble, SOFIA, JWST) instruments to study the birthplace of extremely massive stars.
The instruments on JWST will have angular resolutions 10 times better than Spitzer and sensitivities over a hundred times better than current instruments. We will be able to study star formation at sub-parsec (0.05 parsec) scales in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Multi-band photometry with JWST of the N79 region, host to super star cluster H72.97-69.39, will identify individual massive and low-mass young stellar objects in a crowded field. Infrared spectroscopy will reveal the youngest and most embedded young stellar objects with ice and silicate features, some of which are just a few thousand years old. High resolution interferometric, photometric, and spectroscopic data will be key to determining the formation process of super star clusters and the effect of the massive O stars on local and galaxy-wide scales.
James Webb Space Telescope Projects
- JWST MIRI/MRS spectra of Twelve YSO Candidates in the N79 region of the Large Magellanic Cloud
- NIRCam and MIRI imaging of super star cluster candidate H72.97-69.39 location in the N79 region of the Large Magellanic Cloud to better understand to formation of young and massive clusters
- Characterizing the dusty sources in the N79 region of the Large Magellanic Cloud and the NGC346 region of the Small Magellanic Cloud
- Studying young stellar objects down to 1 Msun in the Magellanic Clouds, low-metallicity analogs to the Sun
- Comparing star formation in the Magellanic Clouds to even lower-metallicity galaxies such as NGC6822 and 1 Zwicky 18 with NIRCam and MIRI imaging
- Star formation triggered by AGN jet in NGC 4258 with NIRCam imaging